Seven women and one man, working at a nursing home in the town of Stralsund, were mistakenly given five times the normal dose of the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech. They are not currently suffering from any serious side effects.
Eight employees of a German retirement home were mistakenly given five doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. The seven women and one man, aged between 38 and 54, work in a retirement home in Stralsund, in the northeast of the country. As such, they are among the priority people to receive the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, administered in Germany since December 26.
I deeply regret this incident
But during the vaccination session on December 27, they were injected five doses at once, said the administrator of the district where the establishment is located on December 28. They were immediately informed of the error, assured Stefan Kerth. Four were admitted for observation in hospital with mild flu-like symptoms, the other four have returned home.
“I deeply regret this incident,” said the district administrator, assuring that these were only isolated cases, due to human error. “I wish all concerned that no serious side effects occur,” he added.
The German laboratory BioNTech, which is developing this first messenger RNA vaccine, had assured before the launch of the vaccination campaign this weekend in several European countries, that larger doses than normal had been injected during the phases of test, without serious side effects.
Ampoules “capable of giving six doses”
This vaccine, designed in less than a year and to be given as two injections of 0.3 ml at two to three week intervals, comes in an ampoule whose contents, when diluted, were supposed to give five doses. .
But German health authorities, through the voice of a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, announced on December 28 that these ampoules were likely to give six doses. Each ampoule indeed contains a “slight excess” which makes it possible to compose a sixth injection, according to this spokesperson.
The Ministry of Health communicated this clarification to the German regional states, responsible for vaccination throughout the country. Angela Merkel’s government, however, calls on health authorities not to use “under any circumstances” the surplus vaccines from several vials to compose a dose. Three to four million doses should be available in Germany by the end of January, says the government.